Most leaders would tell you innovation is important to sustain growth and competitiveness of an organization. However very few leader could actually take lead in the innovation processes and walk the talk.
Putting innovation in your strategy and come up with an “innovation” campaign slogan is not enough to deliver the actual innovation result. The most important factor to drive innovation is really the mindset and commitment of business leader and support from stakeholders.
Own Innovation Responsibility
The purpose of innovation is to drive business growth and create new values and competitiveness advantage for the organization.
If you agree driving business growth and profitability are the key responsibility of business leaders, they should be accountable for the business innovation processes and result.
This mindset is instrumental to the success of innovation program in an organization, and it requires not only the support from the board of directors but cascade down to middle management and work level staffs, so everyone could play their parts in the innovation process.
That said, only when business leaders willing to proactively own the innovation initiatives, they will then prioritize strategies and resources to deliver meaningful innovation values.
Leverage Authority and Influence Power
Business innovation is about seeing improvement opportunities to create better values for business. It requires leaders equipped with a wide range of experience in creative thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, vision setting, change leadership, operation engineering, communication acumen, industry insights, advance technology, cultural and social trends, financial skills etc.
There will always be conflict of interests in resources allocation, and challenging decisions between short term and long term business objectives. And the best Innovation leader is who could see through all the clusters and discover opportunities between various functions, then have the authority and influence power to drive innovative changes that are most beneficial to the organization.
Who else could have those level of leadership if not the CEO or even better the business owner?
Be Proactive with Determination
It is understandable, that many of nowadays organizations are very bureaucratic and political with many short-sighted stakeholders that only interested in risk free short term numbers. That’s why there are many once very successful companies failed or struggle to sustain due to lack of efficient business innovation ~ Nokia, Kodak, Motorola, Sony etc.
There are many short term investors who only care about immediate profits, and there are many business leaders are not trained to drive business innovations. The results are either lack of long term responsibility for business innovation beyond the daily operation, or leaders delegate the innovation to one function (R&D) with insufficient capability and influence authorization to make efficient decisions and executions then FAIL.
Business Innovation is Your Best Strategy
We are in the era of business Innovation, and if your business leadership don’t have the right innovation mindset and determination, the company might soon be a history under the tsunami of creative and young entrepreneurs.
Investors and business leaders must take proactive actions to lead and strengthen the business innovation efforts, while continuously nurture passionate and creative talents to sustain competitiveness advantages for your organization.
Business innovation is your best strategy, and it should be integrated in your short term and long term action plans. Congratulations for those organization who has leaderships like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Larry Page etc, didn’t they all apply these tricks to build their successful business?